Mums, you know those anxious moments when you’re needing to get one or more kids to an activity, but you simply can’t find the relevant ‘stuff’ needed to leave the house? Well I can’t say I don’t leave at the last minute, and things never go wrong, they often do, often. But here is how I tame the regular chaos so that I spend less time screaming at my kids & pulling out my hair, and more time doing things we enjoy.
We have no hallway at our front door, a strange architectural feature to adjust to after growing up in a farm house with an entrance hall the size of our spare room. I did however manage to steal a bit of wall space next to the front door for a hall table. The hall table functions as an entire organisational system to minimise chaos & maximise efficiency, patience & love upon leaving the house. Under the table are an assortment of bags: School bags, library bag, my gym bag, kids ball sports, kids swim bag, Sunday school bag. The underneath may also have boots & spare shoes (something i need to be more diligent about). On top of the table there are hats, sunscreen & hair ties, as well as anything needing to be given or returned to anyone soon. Umbrellas go next to the table. Unfortunately the absence of hall means that jackets do have to go to rooms, but have special places there. Sports kit needing to leave the house goes in the wash immediately upon entering the door & lives in bag once washed! Pref with duplicates if needed more than once a week.
I know I sound like an A type personality here, but I’m NOT. I’m a creative & dyslexic who resented the A types in my family as I grew up because I appreciated the laze faire approach much more, but since becoming a busy mom with other commitments, and a desire to show my kids what love really is (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), I have found that I need to learn from them. It is only when I have this background organisation, that I am free to be spontaneous and creative with my kids, and have a happy loving home.
You not convinced? Picture this:
We decide to pop out to the library because we’re tired of our books… But now there is a mad hunt through the whole house, trying to remember every place where spontaneous mommy & copying kiddies have read the books… Soon it will be time to start dinner because daddy’ll be home & its a school day tomorrow. Hurry! Where did you leave it? Who read it last? No seriously! Come ON! & anywhere between 1 & 3 of us loose our cool. I mean SERIOUSLY!
Now picture this:
Who wants to read a book?
Everyone knows where they are… At the front door. After reading (wherever!) the books go back to the front door.
Lets go to the library. Put on your shoes. Grab the bag (quick book count incase), & go. Everyone is STILL EXCITED &HAPPY!
This was a revelation that my stubborn soul had to learn the hard way, gradually over many years. I hope this helps at least one of you a little faster!
(PS I’ve also managed to arrange that my kids have similar sports consecutively, which also helps with organisation, & taxing reduction, but may not always be possible.)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.